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I enjoy educating others about the natural and social sciences in a way that's easy to understand. I have several years of work experience educating the general public on topics in technology, environmental studies, earth science, and astronomy. I take genuine interest in increasing awareness and understanding of the world around us. Outside the classroom I enjoy amateur astronomy, photography, and outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and traveling.

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Andy’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Bachelors, Earth Science


Astronomy, biking, hiking, photography

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that anyone can learn and understand anything. Given the right tools, a good mentor, a little time, and hard work, one can master any discipline.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I would first like to ensure their comfort by finding out a little about them, but most importantly how they feel they learn best. Following that, I want to understand what they think their biggest opportunities are and how I can best help them. Based on this feedback I will ask them some qualifying questions to check their knowledge level around the particular subject(s) of concern.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The best way to help a student become a life-long independent learner is to encourage curiosity in our everyday lives and to seek the answers to those questions.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Creating a good schedule and envisioning your goals are vital to success. A good schedule will help maintain a good work-life balance, and picturing yourself ace-ing that test or the class will help you get there.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Reassure the student that many people have found these concepts initially difficult to understand, including me, but through hard work and perseverance I was able to master the material.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I would assure them that it will get better with some work. Reading comprehension is a learned skill that gets better with practice, and I have found that many students find success by picturing what they are reading.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Patience is key. People learn in many ways, and understanding how they learn best by asking questions and gauging their responses is key.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

The best way to get a student excited about a subject they struggle with is to relate it to something that they do understand and get excited about.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I check for understanding at key points in the material, in addition to observing verbal and non-verbal cues by the student.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Let them know that they are doing a great job and that their hard work and attention will serve them well in the classroom.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Get to know them by asking questions and checking their -level of understanding. I find it best to let the student speak freely to determine their level of knowledge in a particular subject.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

A tutor must adapt to the student's needs based on their feedback, verbal and otherwise.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

The materials I use depend on the subject matter being taught and how the student learns best. The use of technology cannot be understated, but there are times when simpler methods might be employed.

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